Midrand. With just a week to go until the start of the fourth BMW Motorrad International GS Trophy, North America edition, preparations are nearing completion. The team to represent South Africa has been training vigorously over the past year in preparation for the much anticipated international biking event. The team was selected over a qualifying process, which took place last year at the Country TRAX facility near Amersfoort under the watch and guidance of chief instructor, Jan du Toit.
From next week (Saturday, 6 September), riders will compete in a week of adventure riding, consisting of seven stages, special tests and teamwork challenges.
Competing alongside the South African riders, 48 riders in total among 16 teams will be representing 19 nations from around the world, along with 16 independent journalists embedded in the teams. Riders will be roughing it out around the regions between Vancouver and Calgary, while also riding along the tracks and trails of the Rocky Mountains in the western Canadian provinces of British Colombia and Alberta.
Surrounded by the green forests, dusty slopes and winding roads, all enduro riders will be able to demonstrate their physical and mental strength, team skills as well as riding skills.
The event takes place every two years, with the North America 2014 event following previous events in South America (2012), Southern Africa (2010) and Tunisia (2008).
Who are the South African riders?
The South African riders who will be participating are as follows:
Ruan de Lange:
Ruan is a 30-year old Capetonian and a co-owner of a motorcycle workshop. He enjoys adrenalin sports and activities and dreams of owning a liquid cooled BMW R 1200 GS Adventure bike one day. He has owned many motorcycles, but finds the BMW GS as the most reliable and comfortable machine on the market. The longest one-day trip he has spent on an adventure motorcycle consisted of 1,500 kilometres. Ruan recalls his most memorable moments when he qualified for the 2012 and 2013 GS Eco as well as the 2014 GS Trophy.
Francois van den Heever
Francois is a 33-year old Sales Manager from Kempton Park, Johannesburg. The longest trip he has done on an adventure motorcycle was a one-day trip (1,100 kilometres) from Askham to Upington and then back to Kempton Park. Francois is a fan of BMW GS motorcycles. He says he finds it the best looking bike out there and he is also a fan of BMW Motorrad’s boxer engines. Francois recalls his most memorable moment with a motorcyclewhen heslept in the desert the night before taking on the Angolan “Doodsakker” – The Death Acre.
Jaco van der Linde
Production Manager in the Foodcorp Specialty Division, 32-year old Jaco enjoys riding motorcycles, mountain biking and remote helicopters. Jaco’s longest ride on an adventure bike was 841 kilometres from Fish River to Doringbaai. His best adventure trip was from Gauteng to Namibia and onto Cape Point – a total of 3,400 kilometres – ranging from beautiful tar roads and tar-like gravel roads in Namibia to mud, rocks and climbs. Jaco is from Hartebeespoortdam in the North West Province.
Accompanying representative – Stefan Boshoff
Stefan is a 44-year old Engineer who enjoys enduro/adventure biking, 4x4s and scuba diving. His longest trip on an adventure bike (completed in one day) was 1,800 kilometres from Durban to Alexander Bay in the Northern Cape. Stefan loves the BMW GS motorcycle as he says “nothing else does everything so well”. His role models riders are Gio Sala, Graham Jarvis and Toni Bou.
“We wish the team well and hope they will do South Africa proud in this year’s competition,” says Alexander Baraka, General Manager of BMW Motorrad in South Africa.